Thursday, May 01, 2014

The "Mommy's Basement" Accusation

A common comment I receive on my youtube channel is that, among other things, I live in my "mommy's basement."  Naturally a comment from people I've offended the truth pisses off.  The expected knee-jerk reaction to being offended is not to critically think through or digest why what some random guy on the internet said causes such discomfort, but instead abandon the entire discussion being had and go personal.

Ergo, "mommy's basement."

The reason I love this counter-punch is because not only is it common, and not only is it part of a prepackaged suite of knee-jerkism ("can't get laid" "small penis" etc.) it's because it belies that the person accusing you of living in mommy's basement has lost the argument.

It's done.

It's over.

You've won, that person lost, and the reasons are multi-fold.

One, do you REALLY live in mommy's basement?

Of all the bloggers, commenters, podcasters, etc., I know none of them live in their "mommy's basement" let alone receive a STIPEND or subsidy from their parents or government like most "mommy's basement accusers" do.  Are there basement dwelling trolls who make trolling comments?


But what should concern most people who resort to this argument is the fact that there are so many self-supporting men who are merely voicing their legitimate opinion.  And accusing them of "living in mommy's basement" is...well...pat-on-the-head-worthy "cute."  It's not true, so the accusation rings hallow, and an eye roll ensues.

Second, the "mommy's basement" is a CLASSIC liberal debating technique of changing the topic.  If the current debate or discussion at hand is untenable a hypocrite will ALWAYS go personal because they know deep down inside they're wrong and their adversary is right.  The real issue is whether you have the self-control not to fall for this ruse, take personal affront, and then go on defending how you "don't live in your mommy's basement."  Maintain control of the debate, ignore these personal sleights, and continue your assault.

Finally,  I'm not a big "psychology" guy and don't really believe in this "projection" kind of thing younger generations resort to as a means to debate.  But I am a big believer in "deflection."  Realize when somebody is so desperate, so hypocritical, and above all else, exposed for their self-serving and immoral beliefs, their little lizard-brain goes into full defense mode and tries to cover up their true intention of basically stealing resources from other people.  However, since they have no legitimate moral or logical argument, they need to resort to name calling.  As previously mentioned, this is merely a ruse and proof you've won the debate, but I wanted to point out just how cowardly, pathetic, and "loserish" it is of the person that has to resort to this tactic.

In the end, the true "loser" is not the guy (or gal) accused of living in "mommy's basement."  It's the person doing the accusing.  They're typically a spoiled suburbanite brat that had everything handed to her (or him), never had to support themselves, and never had enough adversity in life to challenge them and forge them into a real, interesting, and self-supporting adult.  And so when reality smashes their fragile idealistic view of the world in the form of a genuinely independent person, speaking real truths, their tantrums, and any accusations of living with mommy, can largely be dismissed. 


Kristophr said...

Mommy's Basement would be a number 3 "argument".

Anonymous said...

O' Capt my Capt thank you for your words and wit. I have been a long time lurker that enjoys the asshole that you are. Make no apologies sir.
The wide brush idiots attempt to paint you with are most indicative of the painter not the canvass. In short their personal situation has no bearing on you.
Thank you, Stan

Anonymous said...

I may have lost the thread. Do you in fact live in your mother's basement?

Children may reasonably expect some assistance from parents, though it is not theirs by right. My stepdaughter and her partner (male; a marine engineer) didn't get established until their mid-30s. Their house is bigger than ours and is well on the way to being paid off. Their combined income is about twice ours. All well. The stepson should have been established as a mechanical engineer in his late `20s, but a lamentable taste in women led to an expensive divorce - the expenses of which were paid for by my wife, and the psychological expenses were paid for by his son. He has since mooched more money from us; but unless he goes bankrupt the wife is not going to be sending him any more.

So there we are. Your mother isn't well off, I assume. She is getting older, and no doubt appreciates the presence and the attention of a young strong healthy son.

One might say that the ideal is for the mother to live in the son's basement; but that is not so. It doesn't work well in most cases - most women need their own nests.

My maternal grandparents looked after their ne'er do well son for several years, after he got out of the Army (WWII). He also inflicted a wife on them, who they really didn't care for; and a couple of kids. That was all resolved when he went back into the Army, permanent forces.

Curiously, I am writing this from my basement - but I have owned it for 35 years, and purchased it mainly with money I earned in the oil patch - with some assistance, most welcome, from my late father.

Anonymous said...

When someone uses the "Mommy's basement" or for that matter the tried and true "you're a racist" or the new "hate facts" accusations it's a sign they lost the conversation and now want to silence your debate by resorting to smearing.

If they were intellectually honest they would not go down that road, they'd debate you on the topic at hand instead of hiding behind a personal insult.

But they are not, they are ideological bullies.

nate w said...

Last week my ex wife and her new husband moved into her mom's basement for real (they are both upper 30's). I have to admit I got a mental chuckle, not at her but at her parents. Pity that her alimony terminated upon remarriage, who could have guessed the gravy train would end?

Torgo said...

To quote the esteemed Bill Burr, when your foe goes rogue and abandons logic and reason, you've won the argument. Take a knee and run out the clock. And if it's your woman and she won't give you any for a while, just rub one out like a man!

Anonymous said...

I am a psychology person and while I do agree with you on mist things, I want to clarify the idea of projection vs. deflection. I agree that both are defensive strategies so the person doesn't have to acknowledge their hypocrisy or the fallibility of their argument. However, I think deflection implies some level of self awareness. Something like, "oh crap, he's live in your mother's basement." Projection doesn't require self awareness at all.

Most people aren't self aware enough to be able to consciously realize (or accept) that they're wrong.

Mr. Big said...

I think the correct reply to the basement argument would be:

"That insightful retort about living in my mother's basement conclusively proves you must have been educated at one of our fine higher education liberal-arts institutions. Oh, and by the way, how's that barista job working out of you?"

Eric Mueller said...

It's also known as an ad hominem fallasy, Latin for "against the man". Rather than point out errors or ommissions in your facts or logic, they go an a personal attack.

Even if you do live in your mother's basement, how does that change the nature and facts of your argument? It's like they're saying "You claim people waste too much money on worthless degrees. But you live in your mother's basement, therefore, people do not waste too much money on worthless degrees." Pathetic.

A basement is a great economic arrangement. I was a geographical bachelor for a few years. Because the economy sucked where my family lived, I had to move to another state in order to get a good enough job to support them. I couldn't afford to support a family and have my own apartment, so I rented a basement. I had my own space and privacy, but it didn't cost anywhere near as much as renting an apartment. I was happy with it. And then going through a divorce last year, it was still a great, inexpensive place to live. I have since moved on, but I miss it.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit, I've resorted to "name calling" myself at times. The specific instances I recall were with a friend I worked with.

I said "you have to be stupid to still believe that" after arguing with her over health care. She said "well maybe I'm just stupid then." To which I agreed. She called me an asshole.

I also once called her a hillbilly.

Though I've only done the name calling after exhausting the use of logic, and because she's my friend.